Wells Fargo is committing $1 billion in philanthropy to help address the nation’s housing affordability crisis, including homelessness, available and affordable rental units, transitional housing, and homeownership.

 Brandee McHale
Brandee McHale

Beginning in 2019, Wells Fargo will dedicate 2% of its after-tax profits for corporate philanthropy, concentrating on the three issues affecting underserved communities—housing affordability, financial health, and small business growth.

The $1 billion pledge to housing goes through 2025, according to bank leaders, who also announced that Brandee McHale will join the company to head the Wells Fargo Foundation, effective Aug. 1. McHale, who will be based in New York City, brings more than 30 years of experience in public and private philanthropy to Wells Fargo, most recently as head of corporate citizenship at Citigroup and president of the Citi Foundation. She previously worked at the Ford Foundation

McHale succeeds Jon Campbell, current head of corporate philanthropy and community relations, who previously announced his retirement from Wells Fargo as of Dec. 31 after 42 years with the company.

To address challenges in construction, financing, and support services for low- and moderate-income families, the elderly, and the homeless, the embattled bank is also launching a $20 million Housing Affordability Challenge. The challenge grant is aimed at uncovering new, more rapid ways to increase the availability and sustainability of affordable housing.

Wells Fargo donated $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits in 2018, according to the bank.